Giving Compass' Take:

• Nonprofit Quarterly discusses the efforts of several foundations to rethink grantmaking practices, emphasizing the need to "pull advice and opportunities" rather than push them.

• What can all organizations learn from this analysis? One takeaway is that, to scale philanthropic achievements, better collaboration and more feedback is needed.

• Here's why systems change and equity go hand-in-hand.

Over the past year, the Skoll, Draper Richards Kaplan, Ford, and Porticus Foundations, working with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, have partnered to investigate how to more effectively apply their resources toward large societal problems like education, racism, poverty, healthcare, and hunger. The conclusion they came to is that their grantmaking practices may have been all wrong.

Adva Saldinger, reporting for Devex, described the impetus behind their effort.

Foundations talk about wanting to help catalyze systems change and scale solutions, but too often their structures, the way they fund, and their relationship with grantees make those goals a challenge.

This group of foundations recognized that while among their grantees there are “many organizations today … helping to solve seemingly intractable problems, and demonstrating the possibility of moving beyond incremental change to real transformation,” their efforts seem hard to replicate and grow. They have come to recognize that a large portion of the problem comes from how foundations do their work, and not from failures of the organizations they fund. After interviewing both nonprofit and philanthropic leaders, the result is a five-pronged agenda for change they now want additional foundations to embrace.

NPQ has noticed this shift in thinking occurring around us, and would pose a consideration on the other side: Under these rules, what happens to access for smaller, less well-known groups?

Read the full article about the importance of listening for systems change by Martin Levine from Nonprofit Quarterly.